In the ninth inning of Monday's Reds-Indians game, Reds closer Aroldis Chapman threw his first pitch to Indians first baseman Nick Swisher straight to the backstop. The next pitch nearly hit Swisher in the head, and it was clocked at 100 miles per hour.
Here's video of the at-bat:
Understandably, Swisher was shaken by the one at his head. It led to a pretty funny back and forth after the game, where Swisher said he didn't remember what he said -- you can clearly read his lips saying, "don't do that" from the batter's box, though we don't know what was said close to the pitcher's mound -- and asked what Chapman said. So the reporters asked Chapman and he said, "I don't speak English." (via Cincinnati.com)
Anyway, what's even more interesting about this situation is the contrast in broadcasts. Above was the Reds TV broadcast, where they barely even reacted to the pitch at Swisher's head and instead built the drama about the Indians' reaction.
On the other hand, here is Indians' radio broadcaster Tom Hamilton going nuts about the first pitch and then blowing a gasket about the second one:
OK, I've never seen a 100-mile-per-hour heater coming at my head, but, man, it has to be utterly terrifying. So I don't blame Swisher one bit for reacting as he did. It's not like he charged the mound.
I also understand that any home broadcaster likes his hometown players and wants to have their backs. But that was a bit of an overreaction. The first pitch wasn't really close to Swisher, though it surely startled him. The second one was bad and even a bit scary, but wishing a ball to hit the pitcher's temple was a bit over the top.
Then again, it's just as funny to hear the Reds' crew -- led by play-by-play man Thom Brennaman -- act like seeing a 100-mph pitch coming at your head is not a big deal. Maybe they're just desensitized.
Perhaps the most hilarious part of all of this was Hamilton clearly thinking Swisher had evened the score with an extra-base hit, only to have his line shot to left field caught.
In related news, the Reds and Indians square off three more times this week. My prediction of no fights is in serious jeopardy.
Hat-tip: C. Trent Rosecrans